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Driving on the other side ( Part 20 )

January 13, 2012

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Driving on the other side (Part 20)

The road into Blenheim was slow going, Bender had to wait as farmers moved sheep on the highway from pasture to pasture and the only way was on the road itself. Two plaid shirt wearing gentlemen donning shorts and wide-brimmed hats whistled constantly at five black and white sheepdogs, slithering low, then running, stopping, and then again running to keep the heard on the road. The working dogs were a sight to see, Billy forgot about his lack of nourishment for a few minutes to take in the moment. As one of the men approached the car, Bender put his window down to say hello. There was a deafening sound of Bah, Bah, Bah’s coming from the enormous heard, along with an eyebrow-raising smell that permeated the air. The farmer was wearing boots, shorts, a wool shirt that was covered by an Icelandic style sweater and a floppy wide-brimmed, dark colored hat. He was also sporting a long, dark-colored walking stick that had an appearance that it was hand carved. “Good day Mate” blurted from the farmer, ” no problem mate, stay to the right, you’ll be right, no worries” So Bender drove on the right side of the noisy, smelly moving mass of grass-eating mammals, finally getting ahead of the last of the filthy, long-haired sheep.
As Billy approached the town he was struck with just how extensive the row after row, mile after mile, of grapes were being grown in this region. He noticed a sign that read Timara Lodge, fine dining, luxury rooms, spa, and vineyard. Well, this had everything that Bender was looking for, all in one place, so he turned into the driveway to find a charming, English style garden that surrounded a perfect gingerbread-style house that was located on the banks of a small Lilly pad laden lake that had fish rising and feeding. “Perfect” Bender shouted, but it looked closed, nobody was around. It was the Offseason, but Billy thought that it had to be open, so Billy knocked on the front door. Gorgeous women in her early 40’s dressed like she just stepped out of the Field Magazine, green from head to toe that only accented her dark red hair and fair complexion was smiling as she welcomed Bender into the lodge.”Welcome, I’m Kate Granger, the owner, and you are”? Billy was taken back by the beauty of Ms, or Mrs. Granger? And finally stumbled out with “nice to meet you, I’m William Bender, but you can call me Billy”. The two got through the introduction and Kate showed Billy his room and explained that he was the only guest, but, the staff was present and they would serve dinner, and everything would be open for him. There was a small store that sold wines from their vineyard, and of course t-shirts, hats, some jewelry, and local artifacts. Kate gave Billy the tour of the grounds and told Bender a brief history of the area and of the lodge itself, also telling Bender that he was welcome to do some fishing or have a swim in the pool, or hot tub. Kate inquires,” Mr. Bender will you be dining alone this evening, I need to let our chef know, for tonight we will be serving Medallions of Venison”? Bender replies, “Yes, I’m alone, it will be only me”. Kate, with a smile and eyebrows raised, suggest that they dine together, for she is a widow of five years, and that it seemed silly for both to dine alone. Bender agrees, and they set the dinner for 8:00 o’clock sharp, the dress, casual.
Jane and Kelly finally, despite the heat of the afternoon arrive at the LandCruiser, both girls completely exhausted, and dripping from perspiration, decide to drive to a B and B to rest and get a good meal. Kelly takes the wheel and Jane looks at a map to find the nearest town that may be something of interest on their way down the west coast. Billy at this time is on the east coast and working his way to Christchurch, the girls are on the opposite side of the Island, heading south down the west coast, on their way to hike the Milford track. Jane suggested that they just drive for a while until they both agree on a place to stop, Jane says, ” there is only one road down the west coast, so, we won’t get lost, so let’s just see where we end up”. Kelly is in full agreement, then adds, ” this country is stunning, I mean look around us, what beauty, the mountains are white capped and jagged, along with the contrast of the super green hillsides, and these rivers are just pristine, my goodness, everything seems to be so clean”. Jane says, “yea, but I’ve seen enough sheep to last me a lifetime, I’m ready for some fun, let’s go out tonight”. Jane pulls out a small pipe and lighter and begins to smoke. “What’s that?” ask Kelly, ” is that Pot, where did you get it”? Jane after exhaling long hit replies, ” Billy gave me half of what he’d gotten from a friend up on the North Island, it’s redbud, he says it’s really good, want some”? Kelly with her mouth open looks at Jane and says, ” why not, we are on vacation, might as well have some fun”! The two girls, high as kites, driving down the west coast of New Zealand in their rented Landcruiser come to a small town on the edge of a Lake. The sign at the entrance of the town reads Moana. This is a small tourist town on the edge a Brenner Lake. They get a room at the Country Motel, then go for a swim in the Lake that is just in front of their room. The water is frigid, but, at the same time refreshing after the long hike and drive. They both run into the cabin to take a hot shower, and start to get ready to go out that night. Jane blurts out, ” I could eat a horse I’m so hungry, we haven’t eaten a thing all afternoon”, and with that, the two drive into Moana looking for a nice place to eat.
Billy, on the other side of the Island, is just getting out of the shower and getting ready for his dinner date with Kate Granger. Billy thinks while he is getting ready, ” this could be interesting’…
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